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Amateur Scene – July 11

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'Boxing is not what some people think it is.' With a charitable iniative getting under way in Manchester, John Dennen rounds up the amateur scene this week

‘BOXING IS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT SOME THINK IT IS’

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham visits Timperley ABC as the ‘Sting Like a Bee’ initiative gets underway

MAVERICK Stars, a charity founded in order to ‘change the lives of young people,’ has partnered with England Boxing to support numerous clubs and began the ‘Sting Like a Bee’ initiative.

This was started to address anti-social behaviour and help tackle knife crime, opening up a series of boxing and leadership programmes at different boxing clubs in Greater Manchester. Each of the region’s 10 boroughs now has at least one designated ‘Maverick’ gym. These clubs have received funding and will work with the police, councils, schools and other organisations to support young people at risk. The aim to engage with hundreds of people, aged from eight to 25 years old, with a view to helping them get fit, stay safe and up-skill.

The launch event took place at the end of June at Moss Side Fire boxing club, featuring Maverick Stars ambassadors trainers Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis, international amateur Conner Tudsbury and pro fighter Chantelle Cameron among others. Former world champion Carl Frampton also lent his support.

“It’s very important to address knife crime as there is a bit of an epidemic going on with it at the minute across not just cities like Manchester, Liverpool and London, but all over the UK,” he said. “Boxing clubs being in the areas that they are and as the hub of many of their local communities can have a massive impact in speaking to the kids affected, helping them wise up and then giving them viable alternatives.

“It might seem like carrying a knife around is the cool thing to do because other people are doing it, but boxing clubs can spell out just how dangerous it is.”

Earlier this month Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, visited one of the other clubs involved, Timperley ABC. “It’s brilliant that boxing clubs around Greater Manchester are coming together as part of the Maverick Stars Trust and saying: ‘What can we do to help?’ I think that’s a fantastic offer for someone in my position to get. I’m certain they can help and reach some reach young people that other agencies will struggle to reach,” Burnham said. “The key is getting them through that door. It’s a big step to walk inside a boxing club for some young people, so through this initiative, if we can help them do that, then once they’re inside, they’re away. They can turn negative energy into something much more positive.

“Boxing is almost the opposite of what some people think it is. It has to be a disciplined environment. When people walk-in they see the reality of what it is, what it can do for them and the confidence it can give them. That’s a massive part of it.

“Why might a young person carry a knife? It might not be because they’re hard and they think they’re the best; it might be because they’re scared. They don’t have confidence and that’s where boxing can come in. It can give them a bit more confidence, a bit more pride in themselves and might take them from a very bad place to much better place.”

As well as Timperley and Moss Side Fire other clubs taking part in the ‘Sting Like a Bee’ initiative include Bridgewater Salford, Halliwell Elite, Oldham, Paramount – Stockport, Hamer, Hyde and District, Collyhurst and Moston, Bury and Majestic Boxing Academy – Bolton. Along with providing boxing and other opportunities for young people in gyms across Greater Manchester, there are also plans for training camps at home and abroad and a ‘Greater Manchester Box Cup’ earmarked for Spring 2020.

MONKSTOWN TREBLE FOR BAINBRIDGE

England international leads Brandon to Box Cup

BRANDON Boxing club attended the annual Monkstown Box Cup from June 26-28 to finish their season.

They took three boxers Grace Kenny, Alfie Murphy and their international representative Megan Bainbridge.

Bainbridge was aiming to make it her third consecutive gold at Monkstown, and put behind her the disappointment from June’s European championships where she was marginally defeated in the quarter-finals by Russia’s eventual champion. At the Box Cup Megan emphatically stopped her semi-final opponent in the first round with a body shot. In the final Bainbridge met Irish international Janelin Rodden. They had boxed before and were 1-1, but in a tactical affair Bainbridge won unanimously to seal her victory and 3rd Monkstown gold.

Debuting at the tournament Murphy went straight into the final at 62kgs against an Hungarian opponent of over 20 bouts (it was Alfie’s fourth) and Alfie (all 6ft 3” of him) demonstrated skill and poise beyond his experience to out-work and out-land him to take a clear unanimous points decision.

Kenny took part in two skills bout against a highly skilled Irish boxer, Ella Archibald.

Brandon coach Alex Oliver said, “The event is organised fantastically and JP Kinsella and Sinead O’Connor are fantastic hosts. I took my disabled daughter Kara-mai and for the second year in a row they gave her a Monkstown vest and VIP treatment. It is greatly appreciated.”

DAGENHAM’S FINEST

The club presents its prizes and will inaugurate an award in memory of Vincent Mitchell

THE boxers, coaches, officials and volunteers of the Dagenham Police & Community Boxing Club ended the 2018/2019 season with their annual presentation awards night at The Roundhouse, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham. 

In all, there were 41 ‘Special Awards’ presented, and each and every club member also received a plaque.

Some of the Special Awards have been presented for over 50 years, with big names from yesteryear engraved on them – previous award winners include Kevin Mitchell, Tony Conquest, Robin Dupre, Lawrence Okolie and Jose Lopes – who’ve all gone on to successful professional careers.

Notable award winners this year, were European Junior championship entrant, two-time national Champion and reigning Southern Area Youth titlist Billy Adams. Adams collected six awards, including ‘Best Club Boxer’, ‘Most Honours’ and the ‘Chairman’s Cup’ for international honours. 

Billy is the perfect role model for Dagenham’s younger boxers, who are inspired by his dedication and attitude. Billy is currently waiting to find out if he’s been picked to represent England in the upcoming Youth European championships which take place in Sofia, Bulgaria in September. 

Other winners included Harry Carter, who scooped four awards, having reached the national Schools quarter-finals finals in June. Carter collected ‘The Lenny Wilson Cup for Dedication,’ ‘Winner of most bouts,’ plus The Jim Butler Memorial Cup as ‘The Most Successful Schoolboy.’

Patrick Kerrigan (Michael Fell Challenge Cup – Most Improved Boxer), Charley Jones (Eddie Bennett Cup – Best Police Boxer), Cherone Johnson (Betty Bush Cup – Best Female Boxer) and Michael Omokayode (Tom Wilder Trophy – Most Promising Boxer and The O’Sullivan Cup – Best Senior) were also recipients. 

Michael Bankole picked up the John Maloney Memorial Shield as ‘Senior Club Captain’, and Sonny Flack grabbed the ‘Lawrence Okolie’ Shield as Junior Club Captain after reaching the Junior Cadet final early in the season. 

Andre Graves grabbed the George Cocktrill Cup, voted as ‘Best Prospect’. Classy Bruce Parker walked away with the ‘Outstanding Schoolboy/girl’ Award. The Top Coach Award, ‘The John Durrell Memorial Cup,’ was presented to ex Dagenham boxer turned coach, Darren Orwell who’s looking very capable. 

Top official, receiving the Sapsford Trophy, was Dave Tipler for his sterling work at ringside at boxing shows up and down the country. The Sid Trent Members Cup – Most Valued Member went to coach Jim Lavey who has spent more than 55 years creating champions. Over 100 national and international champions have been produced by this man. All Dagenham’s coaches and officials are pure volunteers, a group of dedicated people with a passion for amateur boxing. 

One final award will be presented at a later date; The Vincent Mitchell Memorial Cup. Vinnie Mitchell tragically died earlier this year in a motorbike accident. Vinnie represented Dagenham, alongside brother Kevin nine times.

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